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All about Periods! Period.

Most women who have attained puberty are aware of everything related to their menstrual cycle. However, there could be some facts that you may not know.

Women's Health By Vasudha Bhat / Jan 14, 2015

Quick Facts

Although all women who are in their childbearing age know about menstruation, there still are chances that they may not know. So, if you are curious about what menstruation is all about, here we give you quick facts that will help you learn more about your monthly menstrual cycle.

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The Basics

Menstruation, another term for your monthly period, is when a woman’s uterus sheds off tissue, fluid and blood which are no longer needed. The word menstruation is derived from menses, which is a Latin word for "month". A menstrual cycle is the duration between the first day of one's period and the first day of the next period, which usually is a month long. On an average, the cycle lasts for 28 days but can vary between 21 and 35 days.

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Irregularity of Period

Just like there are many factors that cause the onset menstruation, the regularity of period can also be different for every woman and can therefore, fluctuate. If a woman has irregular periods, it can cause spotting, late period, an abnormally long or heavy period or a missed period. All this can be triggered by stress, change in diet, significant increase or decrease in weight or by taking certain medications. Besides, there are few health conditions like diabetes, hypothyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome and high levels of prolactin in the bloodstream that can cause irregularities in menstrual cycle.

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Amount of Blood Lost

In an average period duration, a woman usually loses 2-4 tablespoonfuls of blood in total. Although water retention may make it seem to be much more but most women do not experience excess blood loss because of heavy flow in reality. But, when the heavy period occurs, a woman may lose twice as much blood as lost in normal flow. The heavy bleeding does not pose a threat. The signs of a heavy period include usage of unusually high number of pads and tampons or the need to use both types of protection to prevent staining of clothes or bed sheets.

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There are Many Creative Names for Aunt Flo

Menstruation has some pretty creative names which women use to save the embarrassment from coworkers and sometimes family members. Some of the common ones are Shark Week, Crimson Tide, "the rag", TTOM (that time of the month) and the most common of all Aunt flo. There are some more creative phrases used which include “giving birth to a blood diamond”, “having your garage painted”, and “the tomato soup is on the boil”.

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Loss of Eggs

A woman's body has eggs way more than it needs. On an average, a female is born with almost 2 million eggs and by the time she reaches puberty the number is decreased to around 40,000. There are several factors like age and overall reproductive health, which determine the rate at which a woman loses eggs. When a baby girl is in the utero, she may have 7 million eggs in her body and the number declines by almost two-thirds by the time she is born.

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You can get Pregnant During Menstruation

Many believe that menstruation is the safest time to have sex. However, the fact is that you could still get pregnant when you are menstruating. Although this is not the most fertile period there are chances of a woman getting pregnant at almost any time during their cycle.

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Sex Drive is High during that Time of the Month

A woman’s body witnesses many hormonal fluctuations during a period. The progesterone is at its lowest level so it becomes common to crave for physical intimacy during this phase. And, as there are very low chances of you to get pregnant during these days, you can have some real fun between the sheets at this point in your cycle. But, if you are trying to get pregnant, you must have sex within 12 to 36 hours of the onset of ovulation. This increases the chances of conception by manifolds.

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